Children and Young People

Our work focuses on assessing youth-friendly health services, access to information and keeping healthy

For further information on our work and volunteering opportunities contact our Children and Young People Lead, Natalia Sali on tel no: 020 7095 5765 or email: natalia.sali@healthwatchlambeth.org.uk

Why children and young people?

Investing in children and young people’s health early on in their lives is critical. This age marks the beginning of risk-taking behaviour, the start of a sexual life, and a time when life-long health behaviours are set in place. In order for children and young people to make informed choices, they need to have access to timely and appropriate help and support.

Our focus areas

We know from our previous engagement work, that many young people do not know where to go for help and fear judgement if they access mental health and sexual health services

We are working with young people on small projects to best understand where we can make a difference and tackle these issues. We will be developing our Children and Young People’s Engagement Strategy with a special focus on:

  • childhood obesity
  • access to community services for children with Special Educational Needs and a Disability (SEND)
  • young people and culture with a focus on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • young people's mental health and children with long term health conditions.
  • Using our power to Enter and View to assess services

    In collaboration with Year 12 and 13 students from La Retraite Catholic Girls’ School, we’ve completed an Enter and View visit to assess the youth-friendliness of paediatric services at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The overall feeling was that the areas we visited were more child friendly than young people friendly in terms of décor, entertainment and information provision. Adolescent patients reported very few issues with the care they received.

    King's College NHS Foundation Trust Paediatric Wards visit report

    This Autumn, a group of young people are planning to “Enter and View” King’s College Hospital and Evelina Children’s Hospital.

    Looking after their health

    We interviewed young people in 2016 to understand how they look after their health (physical, mental, and sexual). We found that there is poor knowledge among young people about sexual health, particularly around sexually transmitted infections, and when and where to get tested. Also, several young people also mentioned being anxious and worried about local gang activity.

    Young People: Listening to how they keep healthy report

    Emotional wellbeing and mental health

    We spoke with eight young people from one secondary school on their perception and understanding of their own mental health and emotional wellbeing. They told us that relationships with adult family members, the school, with peers and the police are big factors that affect their mental health and wellbeing. They also said that feelings of unfair treatment and negative labelling by adults made building relationships very difficult. Plus the normal daily impact of school pressures and social media is affecting their emotional wellbeing.

    Volunteer with us

    Engagement of children and young people is at the heart of what we do. We encourage young people to work with us and take part in our engagement and insight gathering activities such as events, research and Enter and View.

    If you are a young person between 14 and 25 years old and would like to gain additional skills and have a say in health and social care services, do contact us. You will be trained to undertake your preferred tasks.

    Visit our Reports page

    Visit our Reports page to read all our published Enter and View visits and other reports in full.
    Accessibility